Opinion: Cain Velasquez Promoted to BJJ Black Belt
By Michael Hatamoto
Current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will enter the UFC octagon at UFC 166 later this month against former champion Junior Dos Santos as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt.
Velasquez earned his black belt from Checkmat BJJ co-founder Leandro Vieira, an extremely knowledgeable BJJ practitioner and instructor.
In their first matchup, Dos Santos ended the fight by knockout just 1:04 into the first round, taking the light heavyweight championship from Velasquez. A rematch happened at UFC 155, in which Velasquez won a unanimous decision, absolutely manhandling dos Santos for most of the fight. Velasquez took his title back with the impressive showing.
Dos Santos, also a BJJ black belt, prefers to try and keep the fight standing and use his boxing to smash through opponents. I don’t think it’s likely to see Cain vs. JDS III end up a high-level grappling match, but Velasquez’s NCAA Division 1 wrestling mixed with BJJ and Dos Santos’ ability to avoid takedowns could make it extremely exciting for fans.
This is a highly anticipated fight between the two best heavyweights in MMA, and I want to see how dos Santos tries to bounce back. If he’s unable to find his range and use his boxing, Velasquez could be able to follow the same game plan in the second fight to find success yet again.
Follow Full Contact Fighter later this month to see how both fighters do in their headlining trilogy fight at UFC 166.